The adorable half timbered houses and winding cobblestone lanes in the Old Town section of Colmar are simply charming. The calm canals that are weaved throughout the city bring an added amount of charm. As you step out and start exploring the area, you will think you have stepped right into a living fairy tale.
Experiencing Colmar is great fun for every age, especially when you want to get outside and explore breathtaking nature. Located in the Alsace region which is in the northeastern region of France along the Rhine River, Colmar is a stone’s throw from the German border and is best known for its wine production.
You will also find some of the best hikes in Colmar where you can admire the architecture of the city as well as the exquisite natural beauty that surrounds Colmar. Before you head out on a memorable hike, drop your extra bags and backpacks at a Colmar luggage locker for safekeeping. Don't be weighed down as you explore. Grab a fabulous Colmar brunch, and start your day!
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Colmar
While the city of Colmar may not have challenging nature trails and hiking spots, there are still plenty of places you can get out and stretch your legs, breathe in the crisp, fresh air, and get your heart pumping. Nearby the city, you'll find more treks to try. So, lace up your walking shoes or hiking boots and strike out to find some of the best hikes in Colmar.
Citywalk Colmar – Haute-Rhin
Distance: 2.89 mile loop
Location: Colmar City Centre
Located in the Alsace region, there are plenty of ways to get out and enjoy nature but when it comes to staying in the actual city of Colmar, you will more than likely stroll along pretty streets rather than tackle mountainous terrains.
The Citywalk is a moderate hike or walk through the streets of Colmar to check out some of the best architecture dating back to medieval times. Monuments and memorials can be found along the walk where you can learn more about the history of the city, all while getting some much needed exercise after enjoying the cuisine of Colmar.
Colmar Discovery Tour
Distance: 2.02 mile loop
Location: Place de la Mairie (Tourist Office)
Do you like museums and history? Taking a walk through the pedestrian area of Old Town in Colmar gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich history of the region. This pedestrian area is one of the biggest ones in Europe and showcases the fantastic riches and interesting heritage beginning in the Middle Ages of the entire Alsace region.
The Gothic architecture is simply amazing and while you are on your walk through the area, be sure to visit the Saint-Martin Collegiate Church and the Dominican Church. Both date back to the 1200s. As you continue your walk through the streets of Old Town Colmar you will enjoy the quaint shops and cafes along the Quai de la Poissonnerie which was once the centre of the fishing industry.
Colmar Station Walk
Distance: 3.6 mile loop
Location: Colmar Train Station
This easy walk will take on average an hour-and-a-half to finish. This is another way to see parts of Old Town Colmar and appreciate the wonderful Alsatian architecture. Pick up the trail at the train station and continue along the picturesque streets through Colmar and eventually loop back to the train station.
The cobbled streets and canals are beautiful to see as are the half-timbered houses and buildings along the streets. Many date back to the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. As you stroll along, breathe in the history of the city and feel the richness of its heritage seep into your soul.
Colmar Canal Cycle Route
Distance: 18.3 miles
Location: Colmar Canal
The Colmar Canal was first inaugurated in 1864 as an alternative route to the Canal du Rhone au Rhin. Today, the Colmar Canal is used for yachting and boating with the Port of Colmar as their launching or landing point. The Colmar Canal Cycle Route is over 18 miles long and is moderately challenging.
Those in terrific physical health will take about eight hours to complete, but those wishing to just tackle a smaller section can do so. While the trail was developed for mountain and road biking, many avid hikers use this trail as a way to stretch their endurance before taking on more strenuous trails in the region.
While the Colmar Canal Cycle Route is open year-round, it is best to visit between February through November when the weather is cooperative. For a more challenging hike, the Rhine Cycle Route joins this trail. The Rhine Cycle Route leads either to Andermatt, Switzerland or Rotterdam, South Holland.
Route des Vins d’Alsace
The length of the trail does vary depending on how far you are willing to hike. The entire trail is just over 100 miles long but only serious hikers tackle the full length of the Route des Vins d’Alsace. You can bike or hike the trail, either way, you will get to see many of the breathtaking old villages in the Alsace region.
You can start your hike in Colmar or you can hop the train and head to Strasbourg, Obernai, or Rosheim and pick up the trail in those areas. When you visit one of these cities make sure you take a little time to explore some of the magnificent architecture and adorable streets. For the most part, the trail is well marked but there are some areas where GPS will come in handy.
Stop along the way at some of the celebrated wineries and enjoy a wine tasting or two. When you plan to tackle a section of this trail, plan on spending about three hours hiking. You may want to extend that time if you plan on exploring some of the towns and villages along the way. You will see monuments and memorials along the way paying homage to the rich history of the area.
Sentier des Roches
Distance: 12 miles
Location: Col de ka Schluchter
Being just over 20 miles from Colmar, the Sentier des Roches is a challenging hike that should not be attempted by those not used to hiking the more difficult trails. The trail is rocky and can be very slippery when wet so if the forecast calls for rain, you may want to postpone your hike.
The trail is well-marked with blue squares and it will take you about three hours to hike the entire trail. As you begin your hike at Col de la Schlucht, you will head towards Munster through the beautiful countryside along Hautes-Vosges. The trail is virtually impassible during the winter months and should not be attempted until the snow and ice have receded.
Distance: 8.01 miles
Location: Le Valtin
This trail is about 16 miles outside Colmar but is well worth the extra drive when you are searching for a challenging trail that will make your muscles scream when you tackle it. The trailhead is located right next to the parking lot making it easy to find.
Experienced alpine hikers are encouraged to take on this trail. If you are not experienced in alpine hiking you may want to hike with a buddy who is experienced to ensure you do not overdo it or run into problems as you complete this hike. Be sure to put water, snacks, sunscreen, matches, and a first aid kit in your backpack before setting out.
Gazon du Faing – Chemin Rocailleux Loop
Distance: 7.66 miles
Only 13 miles outside of Colmar, Orbey can be easily reached using public transport if you do not have a car. The trail is just under eight miles and is moderately challenging but it still requires someone to be in good shape to tackle. Bring along a pack with water and snacks when you decide to give this trail a try.
Most of the paths are accessible, but during the winter months in heavy snowfall, the paths can be quite treacherous. You will need to be sure-footed when you take on the Gazon du Faing – Chemin Rocailleaux Loop.
Lac du Forlet – Gazon du Faing Loop
Distance: 7.67 miles
Location: Le Bonhomme
This is another section of the Gazon du Faing loop that leads around the Lac du Forlet and begins in Le Bonhomme, which is just over 13 miles from Colmar. The moderately challenging hike is a great place to get out to stretch your muscles and take in the picturesque setting around the wonderful lake.
The trailhead in Le Bonhomme is within walking distance of the train station making it easy for you to hop on public transit and make your way to the trailhead. While the trail is open year-round, it is most popular during the summer months.
Badberg – Ausblick Kaiserstuhl Loop
Distance: 6.14 miles
While it is recommended that those with moderate skill levels give this trail a try, there are several spots that are suitable for every skill level. You just need to be sure-footed and willing to tackle the entire trail. The trailhead is located in Oberbergen and is just over 14 miles outside Colmar.
Wear hiking boots to take on this trail and be sure to bring along a backpack with water, snacks, and sunscreen. You will want to avoid the trail during the snowy winter months but it is easily accessible during the spring, summer, and fall. You will tackle a few small hills but this is one of the best hiking trails in the area.
Blick Richtung Feldberg – Panoramablick Loop
Distance: 6.99 miles
The trail is about 12 miles away from Colmar and is near the train station making it easy to take public transport to and from the trailhead. Lace up your hiking boots and plan to spend an afternoon exploring the path and checking out the local flora. You may even cross paths with a few small wild creatures along the way.
The path does have some rocky sections that can be slippery and there are a few steep inclines that are not necessarily good for those seeking an easy hike. If you are looking for something a bit more challenging without being too strenuous, this is the trail for you. Plan your itinerary and hit the trail for a wonderful time.
Distance: 7.4 miles
While most people step onto the trail at the Eguisheim Tourist Office, you can also hop on in Wettolsheim at Place De Gaulle since the trail is a loop that takes you through the countryside just minutes outside Colmar. The trail is open year-round and is usually accessible throughout the year except during extreme weather events.
The Hagueneck Castle ruins are also along this walking trail, making it a rather interesting and unique hike for those able to tackle intermediate or moderate hikes. Wear sturdy shoes, bring along a pack with water, sunscreen, and snacks and hit the trail for an afternoon of communing with nature and exploring old ruins.
Easy Hikes in Colmar
There are times when you just want to get outside and enjoy all nature has to offer even if you are not normally an outdoorsy person. Colmar and surrounding areas have several hiking trails that you will want to explore including some easy hikes for those not accustomed to hiking. Check out Colmar Station Walk, Colmar Discovery Tour, or Eguisheim Wine-Making Trail just minutes outside Colmar. All of these trails are easy walks for everyone.
Intermediate Hikes in Colmar
For those looking for a bit of a challenge but are not up to a difficult trail, there are several trails of moderate or intermediate difficulty where you can use your muscles, test your endurance a bit, and enjoy a hike that gives you a solid workout. Stroll along the Gazon du Faing-Chemin Rocailleux Loop, the Lac du Forlet-Gazon du Faing Loop, or the Blick Richtung-Panoramablick Loop for a moderate hiking experience.
Difficult Hikes in Colmar
Experienced hikers searching for challenging trails in and near Colmar will find several options that will give them an excellent workout while getting outside and soaking up the sun. The Hohneck-Frankenthal Loop, Sentier des Roches, and Route des Vins d’Alsace are perfect for those looking to test their endurance and tackle the rougher terrain of the region.
Colmar Hiking Trails
Whether you are taking part in walking tours or looking to search through the country for the best hiking trip, you will find several fabulous trails in and near Colmar. Figure out which trails you want to try, make an itinerary, and set out to test your abilities, you will find the beautiful settings simply marvelous.